Back-to-back! Blythewood golfer repeats as Class 5A girls state champion

Caroline Hawkins is halfway to one of her goals for her high school golf career.

The Blythewood sophomore won her second straight Class 5A championship on Tuesday at Mid-Carolina Golf Club. Hawkins finished with an 11-under-par 135 to win by 14 strokes.

Hawkins’ 11-under tied the girls golf state record under par with Oceanside Collegiate’s Smith Knaffle, who won the Class 2A championship in 2020.

Knaffle holds the scoring record at 133.

It was Hawkins’ second straight individual state championship. As a freshman, she won by one shot last year at Holly Tree Country Club in Mauldin.

Hawkins is the 13th player in state girls golf history to win multiple championships and only one. Strom Thurmond’s McKenzie Talbert (2010-2012) has won three in a row.

“My goal is to get four in a row,” Hawkins said. “That’s my goal I set in my high school season and obviously to have fun as well and grow closer with my teammates.”

Hawkins came into the second day of the tournament with a five-shot lead and doubled that through her first nine holes in her round Tuesday. She shot a 5-under on her first nine holes and had a one birdie on her back nine.

“It is really fun to win two in a row and fun being able to play well doing it,” Hawkins said. The key was for me to just have fun and enjoy the moment. … Last year I was a lot more nervous being a freshman and close to winning state. It was a little more nerve-wracking. Knowing I have done this before and just to have fun no matter what the outcome is.

Dorman repeated as team champions for its fifth state championship in program history. The Cavs finished with a 649, four shots better than Chapin.

The Cavaliers came into the day tied with Chapin, which was playing on its home course. Dorman used a strong front nine to take a 10-shot lead into the final nine holes and held on to the four-shot victory.

It is the third straight year Chapin has finished as a runner-up. The Eagles also finished second in 2011.

Lexington finished third and River Bluff was fourth, giving Region 4-5A teams a 2-3-4 finish.

Chapin’s Lilly Reed Black finished third, and Mia Andrade was fifth to earn all-state honors.

River Bluff’s Caitlyn Gaines, and Lexington’s Taryn Smoak also were all-state, which is the top-10 finishers.

Team Scores: Dorman 649; Chapin 653; Lexington 676 River Bluff 689; Wando 692; Carolina Forest 696; TL Hanna 699; Mauldin 718; Nation Ford 718; Blythewood 722; Ashley Ridge 728; Fort Mill 733; Socastee 735; Conway 746; Spartanburg 756; Cane Bay 826

All-State (Top 10 finishers): Caroline Hawkins, Blythewood, 135; Olivia Pellerin, Mauldin, 149; Lilly Reed Black, Chapin, 150; Grace Lindsey, Wando 152; Mia Andrade, Chapin 155; AC Peake, Dorman, 157; Hannah Lowery, Socastee, 159; Olivia Jones, Byrnes 160; Taryn Smoak, Lexington, 160.

Class 4A

May River won its third state championship and the Sharks’ Claire Green was individual championship.

The Sharks finished with a 646 and won by 32 strokes over Catawba Ridge.

Green was the only golfer under par and finished with a 141 and became the first May River golfer to win an individual state championship.

The rest of the all-state golfers were Catawba Ridge’s Brooke Millhouse and Reagan Lynch, Pickens’ Natalie Turner Lucy Beckham’s Grayson Bonner, South Aiken’s Allie Thomas, North Myrtle Beach’s Caitlyn Ferry, Myrtle Beach’s Yana Jeram, A.C. Flora’s Merritt Barbrey, and Hilton Head’s Brooke Niclaus.

Class 3A

Waccamaw won its second state championship in program history with a 26-shot victory at the Hackler Course at Coastal Carolina.

It was the Warriors first state title since 2005. Waccamaw shot a 661 and Daniel was second at 687. Camden was the top local finishing team, finishing fourth with 716.

Daniel’s Peyton O’Brien was the individual champion, winning in a playoff over Aynor’s Ella Kate Barnett. Swansea’s Benedicta Pollard was sixth and earned all-state honors.

Team Scores: Waccamaw 661; Daniel 687; Seneca 697; Camden 716; Blue Ridge 731; Chapman 753; Beaufort 762; Fountain Inn 795; Aynor 849; Wren 861; Trevelers Rest 864; Palmetto 924

All-State (Top 10 finishers): Peyton O’Brien, Daniel, 151 (won in playoff); Ella Kate Barnett, Aynor, 151; Ansley Bryson, Seneca, 154; Anna Brown, Waccamaw, 157; Katelyn Cox, Blue Ridge, 158; Benedicta Pollard, Swansea, 160; Kate Gunnells, BHP, 162; Kayla Holek, Waccamaw, 163; Hazel Martin, Seneca, 166; Adeline Todd, Chapman, 168; Sophia Hepler, Daniel, 168